Medical Student Travel Award

A competition for travel awards for MD undergraduate students is available to assist with expenses related to participation in:

  • an official conference or symposium at which the student presents a paper or poster or
  • an extracurricular research exchange occurring outside of British Columbia.

See complete eligibility below. Applicants must be a UBC MD undergraduate student at the time of travel and must currently be enrolled in the program. Note that graduating students (Yr 4) are eligible to apply in their graduation year even though the application deadline and award payment date will occur after they have graduated (see FAQ for details).

Please note that MD/PhD Students should not apply for this competition. The MD/PhD Program office oversees a travel award nomination process for MD/PhD students. For more information, contact the Program Office at

This competition is run on a reimbursement basis (i.e. travel must have already occurred).

The current competition for MD 2018-2020 is to assist with expenses for travel from September 1, 2016 – August 31, 2017. Deadline: September 30, 2017 [noon]

The competition for MD 2017 is now closed.

Awards of up to $500 will be granted to help cover the cost of travel, accommodation and conference registration fees. All travel expenses must conform to UBC travel policies: The number of awards available per competition is subject to the availability of funds as well as the number and quality of applications. Priority will be given to applicants who have not been prior recipients of a Faculty of Medicine MD Student Travel Award.

If the number of applicants is such that the total funding requested exceeds the funding available, applications will be evaluated for eligibility and awarded via a lottery system.

  • Applicants must be registered in the UBC MD Undergraduate Program at the time of travel and should be in good academic standing. Note that Yr 4 MD students are only eligible for travel until June 30th of their graduation year; conferences or research exchanges occurring after June 30th of the graduation year are not eligible for this award.
  • Applicants applying for conference travel must have presented their work at the conference (not just attended) and the presentation must be on research or other scholarly work performed during the applicant's time in the MD Undergraduate Program.
  • Applicants applying for research exchange travel must have completed their research exchange outside of British Columbia and the exchange must have lasted a minimum of 4 weeks of full-time work.
  • All travel must be for extracurricular research purposes. Travel conducted to participate in electives, FLEX, or other curricular components is not eligible for this award.

MD Travel Award Submission Instructions
Consent Form
Link to online application form:

**Applicants must submit receipts for ALL expenses**

Please read the Submission Instructions prior to starting your application.

MD 2018-2020: Travel dates Sept 1, 2016 - Aug 31, 2017; Deadline: Sept 30, 2017

MD 2017: Travel dates Sept 1, 2016 - Jun 30, 2017; Deadline: July 15, 2017. This competition is now closed

Q: How can I submit my application?

A: Please submit an online application at Upload the signed Consent Form and receipts onto the online application when prompted.

Q: Can the online application be completed in multiple sittings?

A: Yes. You can use the save and continue later button to email yourself a link to return to your in-progress application at a later time.

Q: If I uploaded my signed consent form and receipts (as requested) do I also need to drop off the originals?

A: TBD. We currently do not require the original receipts but the processes may be changing for the 2017 fall competition and we will update the website before this competition opens in August. Please hold onto your original receipts in case they are required.

Q: If I indicated that I prefer to have my award cheque held at UBC for pick up, why do I still need to provide my address on the application?

A: Although your cheque will be held for pick up, Financial Services requires an address to input into their computer system in order to process your award cheque.

Q: I am graduating this year, can I apply for an award to cover my research travel expenses from Year 4?

A: Yes. Year 4 students can submit an application in June of their graduation year (or when applications for the applicable award cycle open) for travel undertaken up to June 30th of their graduation year. Year 4 students will no longer be enrolled in the MD undergraduate program at the time of payment but are still eligible to apply for an award under these circumstances. As payment may not occur until several months after graduation, applicants should take care to keep their contact information and mailing address up to date with the Student Research Coordinator (award cheques are mailed; note that addresses updates in SSC are not transmitted to UBC Financial Operations and thus address changes must be communicated to the Student Research Coordinator).

Q: What expenses are eligible?

A: Transportation expenses such as airfare (as per UBC travel policies extraneous costs such as advanced seat selection or upgrades will not be reimbursed), train fare, ferry fare, taxi fare, transit fare, rental car fees, mileage when using a personal vehicle, and gasoline costs when using a rental car are eligible. As are accommodation expenses (no extraneous costs such as room service), conference registration fees, and abstract submission fees. All expenses must be directly related to attendance and presentation at the conference. Expenses for additional activities or personal outings are not eligible. Meal expenses, per diems, vaccinations, Visa fees and poster printing are not eligible for this award. If you have questions about expenses not mentioned above please contact the Student Research Coordinator.

Q: I lost one of my receipts, can I submit a copy of my credit card statement instead?

A: No. As per UBC policies itemized receipts must be submitted for each expense (i.e. a receipt that lists each expense and the associated cost and taxes). If you have lost one of your receipts you can submit a signed missing receipt form in lieu of the receipt, if possible include other proof of expense with the missing receipt form such as a credit card statement (with unrelated changes and your other personal info blacked out if desirable).

Q: I took a taxi and they just gave me a business-type card with the total cost, is this acceptable as an itemized receipt?

A: Yes. This is an acceptable receipt for taxi fare. For taxi fare only, a printed credit card slip (not a credit card statement, the non-itemized credit card payment slip printed off by the driver) showing the taxi company, date and total cost would also be acceptable.

Q: What constitutes an acceptable "proof of attendance" document for a conference?

A: A copy of the conference program showing your name and presentation title is preferred. You may submit a scan/copy/PDF of the relevant pages from the conference program or include a link to an online version. A picture of your conference name tag or of you at the conference venue does not constitute proof of attendance as, among other deficiencies, it does not confirm your presentation.

Q: I have travel expenses from dates prior to this competition because I forgot to submit an application to the last competition, can I submit to this one instead?

A: Please contact the Student Research Coordinator to discuss your situation.

Q: My supervisor is not available to sign my consent form what do I do?

A: Please contact the Student Education & Research Coordinator to discuss potential alternatives for your specific situation.

Linda Herbert
Student Education & Research Coordinator

Faculty of Medicine, Dean's Office
med.studentresearch [at]
Phone: (604) 822-7154